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Three Tip Thursday: 05/25/17

Today’s T3 includes tips for translating emails in Outlook, best film reunion ever, and finding an affordable smartphone.

1. Translating Outlook Emails

A few weeks ago, I saw an article that said Microsoft had released a new add-in for Outlook that lets you translate the message in the same window.

How to translate emails into languages you can read with the free Translator for Outlook (Tech Republic, 04/13/17)

NOTE: Without the add-in, there’s still the standard Translate button in Outlook messages, but clicking that takes you to an external website that provides the free service.

I don’t have a lot of need for this feature, but I do occasionally get an email in another language, so I thought I would test it out. But following the steps in the article didn’t work for me.

I have an Office 365 account, but use the desktop version of Outlook instead of the web verson. And according to the page describing the add-in, “This add-in works in: Outlook 2013 or later, Outlook 2016 for Mac, Outlook for iOS, Outlook on the Web.” But when I tried to log into the Microsoft Store with my Office 365 credentials, it said I didn’t have an account.

Thus begun the lengthy process of me trying to find a solution to the problem. I’m not going to detail the specifics of everything I tried to make this work because a) I can’t remember them all and b) I was practically in tears at one point, so I don’t want to relive the nightmare. 🙂

Finally, I decided to contact Office Support to figure out what the problem was. Normally I prefer using email or live chat for support services, but those weren’t options. Instead I had to provide a phone number for a customer support rep to call me. He called within a few minutes and spent a good twenty minutes with me, with me giving him remote access to my computer screen (he was not able to control anything, just to see it).

In the end it turned out that to gain access to this add-in, you have to have an Office 365 Plan that comes with its own mailbox and the plan I have, Business, doesn’t include that. If I wanted access to this add-in, I’d have to upgrade to the Business Premium plan, which would cost an additional $5/month (I currently pay $10/month). I don’t need that feature enough to warrant paying more for it, so I decided to stick with the online service for those few times I do.

Compare all Office 365 plans. >>

I still haven’t figured out why I can’t log into the store with my Office 365 credentials, but I’m just attributing that to the fact that Microsoft is the single worst company at managing authentication…

So if you have the Business Premium plan, enjoy the new Translator for Outlook add-in! If not, ignore anything you see that says it’s available.

2. Red Nose Day Actually

Today is Red Nose Day in the U.S., a fundraising campaign by Comic Relief to help fight child poverty in America and around the world. (The campaign is a spinoff of one that began in the U.K. in 1988, which is celebrated on March 24th.)

As part of this year’s U.S. campaign, the director and cast of the movie Love, Actually got together and created a 15-minute sequel that will air tonight on NBC as part of a Red Nose Day special beginning at 8pm Eastern Time.

I’m not ashamed to say I am a HUGE fan of the original film, so I’m really looking forward to tonight’s reunion. (How Emma Thompson didn’t win all the acting awards that year for the scene where she’s alone in her bedroom after she just found out her husband was interested in another woman but she has to pull herself together to go out for a family event is beyond me…).

Red Nose Day Actually: What to know about the Love Actually sequel airing on NBC this week (EW, 0524/17)

Need to rewatch the original before tonight’s sequel? Stream it on Amazon!

Also as part this year’s event, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match dollars raised through Facebook up to a million dollars.

Learn more about how you can help support Red Nose Day’s fight to end child poverty. >>

3. Smartphones at Groupon

I’m going to come off sounding like an old grump here, but I just can’t understand how anybody can pay $600-800 for a phone… A PHONE! The most expensive phone I ever bought was $300, and that took a lot of thought.

My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy S5 that I bought in August 2016 for $150. I got it refurbished through Groupon Goods and I haven’t had any problems with it. The current Galaxy version is 7 with an 8 on the way, so mine is a few generations old, but it works great for me.

When you’re buying a used phone online, there are a few things you’re definitely going to want to check first:

  • The condition of the phone. Groupon classifies used phones as Refurbished (A-Grade), Refurbished (B-Grade) and Scratch & Dent so you can know what to expect before you buy.
  • The reputation of the seller. Many of the phones aren’t sold directly by Groupon; they provide a platform for third-parties to sell them. So make sure you read the reviews not just of the phones, but of the experiences people have had buying from those vendors.
  • The fine print. This will tell you what accessories are included with the phone, what kind of warranty is offered, return policy, etc.

Also, note that even if a description says a phone is unlocked, that doesn’t mean it will work with every cellphone carrier. You need to know if it uses CDMA or GSM technology, which will determine which carriers are compatible.

Use this online compatibility tool to see if the phone will work with your network. >>

You may also be interested in:

Manage Your Outlook Email More Easily with Quick Steps

Turn Your Computer into a Wi-Fi Hotspot with Connectify Software

Stop the Email Threading Madness

Different Ways to Give Back on Giving Tuesday (and Beyond!)

Lessons Learned from Switching My Cellphone Carrier

How Prepaid Cellphone Plans Work and How They Can Save You Money

Elizabeth Kricfalusi

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